Nomiya : a floating table on the Parisian skyline
  • 25
  • Apr
  • 2010

Last year it was a hotel on the rooftop of Palais de Tokyo, this year it’s a restaurant

Text: Rooksana Hossenally  for Vingt

The Palais de Tokyo has teamed up with an unlikely partner to create Nomiya, a floating experience to be relished up close to the heavens amongst Paris’ unique skyline. Replacing the Everland hotel room, the previous project that sat on the Palais de Tokyo rooftop, the contemporary art museum has now turned to collaboration with Electrolux, the Swedish electrical appliances manufacturer, to give its visitors an exclusive slick and sophisticated restaurant concept.

Based on the tiny bars lining Japanese streets, hence its name, Nomiya is a small rectangular capsule with a table for twelve guests, designed to open the channels of communication between strangers. The floating restaurant melts into the Parisian skyline no matter the time of day: at lunchtime the capsule of glass and steel offers a bright, weightless atmosphere reflected in its white walls and clean minimalistic lines, adorned by great big bay windows letting Paris seep through the room. The views of the Quai Branly Museum and the Eiffel Tower are needless to say, breathtaking. The evenings are quite different: Nomiya is transformed as it is bathed in an almost fluorescent purple light. Its main feature becomes the Parisian nightscape dotted with tiny lights and of course, the Eiffel Tower shimmying in a sequin blazer as it watches over the French capital.
The unique piece of contemporary design was created by the artist Laurent Grasso and his brother architect, Pascal Grasso and opened last July. In the kitchen, Gilles Stassart, renowned for his experimental cuisine, oversees the innovative yet unpretentious creations presented with a quirky twist  -  radishes stuffed with foie gras, langoustine carpaccio doused in a sublime coconut and pickled ginger dressing, an osso bucco with polenta and white truffle…to say more would spoil the surprise.

Stassart elegantly combines fresh ingredients, all healthy of course if not all organic, with surprising flavours and garnish; the lunch menu is revised weekly and the dinner menu daily. The kitchen is also visible to the guests; everything from cooking, serving, to tasting happens in the one room. Guests are able to get up and move around to admire the 360° views of the capital, glass of champagne in hand, whilst stopping by to have a chat with the chef, his assistant, and the maître d’hôtel, who are also well-versed in the art of discretion for guests who prefer a little privacy. Despite Nomiya’s apparently cold appearance upon entering, the atmosphere soon warms as the staff greet the guests and the action begins in the kitchen. Soon enough the concept transpires through the guests who begin conversations across the table with total strangers; one cannot help but share the exceptional experience in such a contagiously intimate atmosphere.

To get to the restaurant guests cross the museum to the small green exterior garden, up the scaffolding and onto the rooftop. There sits the self-contained microcosm from which you can lay back and be mesmerised by Paris’ changing skies and passing clouds…time stands still in this stylish little white box of serenity…

Nomiya, also known as the project ‘Art Home’, is a temporary installation and will grace the Parisian skies until September. As part of the experience, and if guests choose so, there is also the possibility of participating in a two hour cooking workshop with Mr Stassart. Workshops take place from Tuesdays to Sundays from 12pm onwards (27 euros for lunchtime workshops, 45 euros for dinner workshops and 15 euros for children). Reservations for the restaurant are usually taken a month ahead, so planning your visit is essential (60 euros for lunch which includes a glass of champagne, 1/3 bottle of wine, mineral water, a starter, a main course, dessert and coffee; 80 euros for dinner including the same as the lunch menu but with cheese).  Nomiya is closed on Mondays.

Nomiya-Palais de Tokyo,13 avenue du Président Wilson,75016 Paris

Sous les Cerisiers : Franco-Japanese Fusion
  • 20
  • Apr
  • 2010

Text: Brendan Seibel for Vingt

Considering the West’s proclivity toward drowning Asian dishes in salted sauces, the concept of Japanese-French fusion cuisine would probably drive many chefs to seppuku. Deftly ducking the perils of gastronomic disaster, Sous les Cerisiers sprinkles rather than smothers its lovingly prepared menu. While the delectable dishes may inspire the same empathy and sorrow of the fragile cherry blossom’s short lifespan the restaurant will endure the highly competitive Parisian gourmet scene through a combination of culinary craftsmanship, innovation and flair.

This careful balance of tradition and influence comes courtesy of Sakura Franck, a Japanese expatriate who traveled working the kitchens of the world before landing in Paris. Years of teaching honed her creativity, an occupation she continues to employ at Sous les Cerisiers today. Her comfort, respect and understanding of both cuisines is revealed in the menu. Dishes carefully marry the tastes of east and west, adorning the bright and clean flavors of her homeland with the vibrant sauces and ingredients of her adopted country.
At first glance the menu seems as small as the number of tables. However, the intriguing concepts of foie gras sushi and duck in sake sauce quickly appeals to the gastronomic heretic in all of us. Two giant prawns, stripped to the tail and laid in a light orange sauce, waltzed between the fresh flavor of the crustacean and the sweetness of the citrus. Steamed daurade was presented sans head, prepared in a traditional and unobtrusive Japanese fashion accompanied by rice. Dessert flipped the tables, the French stepping to the foreground with the Japanese as moral support. A rich moelleux au chocolat enjoyed the essence of the east through a sweetened green tea sauce.

Design and presentation are important to both the Japanese and French cultures. Franck collaborated with Norwegian designers Ralston & Bau to create a unique dining experience. Initially bright and open with broad windows, the room withdraws, growing softer. Intimate lighting creating the illusion of privacy without sacrificing space for partitions. Adding a little fun to the elegance is the use of opera costumes as decoration, both for seats at the rearmost table and along the front walls.
Due to the small size reservations are recommended. The bilingual staff provides formal service without rigidity, and Ms. Franck may step away from the stove to say hello. An expansive wine and sake list is complimented by what is probably Paris’ most comprehensive tea selection. Not an every night occasion but a unique experience in a crowded field, from the delicate fusion of flavors to the artistically designed dining room.

Sous les Cerisiers,12 rue Stanislas ,75015 PARIS, tel.,

Mº Montparnasse Bienvenue/Vavin/Notre-Dame-des-Champs

Les dimanches au Galop
  • 20
  • Apr
  • 2010

When your children like horses, this sundays are magic. You can bring them to the hippodromes d’ Auteuil and Longchamp for a fun afternoon in the horse-universe. There you can see “real” horses.

They can drive a poney or for the very small go on a wooden horse.

Every Sunday starting 21 th of March until 23 the of May, from 12h , the whole family can enjoy the open doors, living the passion for horses.

Surprises, animation, workshops, even meeting with the professionels, will keep every member of the family happy. An event not to be missed !

The take-off is at l’hippodrome d’Auteuil the 21th of March, also the 28 th.

On the 11th of April, the 3th prix de la Ligue Nationale de Rugby and its players will be held at l’hippodrome de Longchamp. That day all the events and animations will be around rugby. Meeting with the players are organised for the big ones.

25th of April its a normal Dimanche au Galop a Longchamp.

Also every sunday of May there will be a lot of activities at the hippodromes, especially during the long weekends.

Hippodrome d’Auteuil – Route des Lacs – 75016 Paris
Hippodrome de Longchamp – Route des Tribunes – 75016 Paris

Etiquette in Paris: 15 Things Every Visitor Should Know
  • 15
  • Apr
  • 2010

Read at the Frommer’s travelblog last month :


One of the best ways to avoid being a stranger is to learn a little of the local language.

The French may appear prickly at first to English-speaking visitors, but it usually helps if you make an effort to speak a little French. A simple, friendly bonjour (hello) will do, as will asking if the person you’re greeting speaks English (parlez-vous anglais?).

Be patient, and speak English slowly—but not loudly.

A phrase book and language-tape set can help get you started.